Tomorrow I plan to break out and even pull a few weeds if I have the strength. This is the absolutely best time of year if you want to see RESULTS in your garden. The forested area on the far side of the house is pushing up the dozens of daffodils I have planted and the wood violets I have transplanted; bloodroot clusters of pure white simple flowers have volunteered here and there. I can see the leaves of the trout lilies, flowers on the pachysandra and the first hints of squirrel corn (a bleeding heart relative) and wild leeks.
The front garden is far more civilized, more's the pity, but there are swathes of scylla, whose perfect blue flowers never cease to lift my heart in early spring. The patch of bleeding heart, my childhood favourite, survived. The perennial gardens have also grouped themselves into Great Solomon's Seal and irises and Virginia Bluebells as well as many varieties of true geraniums.
The only thing that all of these plants have in common is the ability to survive in the shade. The wild garden continues to become more shady as the sugar maples thrive and the red oaks soldier on. But the front will be different this year. Emerald ash borers, whom I first noticed three years ago, have killed all of the ashes in our area and the devastation is severe. On this street, the old green ashes on the other side of the street are all gone and parts of the front garden will be sunny for the first time in thirty years. While I welcome the opportunity to grow a tomato or two (although further out of range of a dog's hind leg would be ideal), I would much rather have the ashes back. When will cities learn to scatter their shot and plant a variety of trees species in every subdivision? Monoculture is a doomed venture.
I will leave you with a spring image, the prairie crocus. I have to sign off now because I can take a hint: I can't spell my way out of a paper bag this week; twice I have run through all six vowels before I got a word right. Fine. I surrender.
But tomorrow THE GAME IS ON! I'm BAACK!